Even with relatively few Iowans being tested for the novel coronavirus, new cases are being confirmed.
Linn County reported its first positive cases of the virus, also known as COVID-19, on Saturday, March 21, 2020.
Staff with Linn County Public Health are working to identify those who may have come in contact with the county’s first confirmed case — a person between the ages of 41 and 60 — and will notify anyone who may be at risk. Two additional Linn County cases announced after the department’s Saturday morning news conference were two people between the ages of 18 and 40.
Statewide, the Iowa Department of Public Health has been notified of 23 additional positive cases of Iowans with COVID-19, for a total of 68 positive cases. As of March 21, there have been 1,049 negative tests conducted at the State Hygienic Lab.
According to the state health department, the locations and age ranges of the latest 23 individuals are:
Allamakee County, 1 middle age adult (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
Black Hawk County, 1 middle age adult (41-60 years), 1 elderly (81 years or older)
Dubuque County, 1 older adult (61-80 years)
Fayette County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
Henry County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
Johnson County, 3 adults (18-40 years), 1 middle age adult (41-60 years), 1 older adult (61-80 years)
Linn County, 2 adults (18-40 years), 1 middle age adult (41-60 years)
Muscatine County, 1 middle age adult (41-60 years)
Polk County, 2 middle age adults (41-60 years), 2 older adults (61-80 years)
Pottawattamie County, 1 middle age adult (41-60 years)
Story County, 1 adult (18-40 years)
Washington County, 1 middle age adult (41-60 years)
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds advised Iowans who have traveled recently for business or spring break, whether internationally or domestically outside of Iowa, to consider self-isolating for 14 days to limit the introduction of the virus from other points of travel.
Linn County Public Health officials recommended the following to help prevent the spread of the virus:
Practice social distancing and avoid handshakes.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; If soap and water are not available then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick. If you need to see a health care provider, call first.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Keep a distance of at least 6 feet from other people to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
A public hotline has been established for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1 or 1-800-244-7431.